Island-Hopping in the Central Philippines
Travels & Overnight Getaways
When traveling to somewhere as beautiful as the Philippines, it can be difficult to pick a single island to visit. With this 12-day Island-Hopping in the Central Philippines itinerary, you don’t have to pick! The trip takes you through Manila, Bohol and Panglao, Siquijor, Dumaguete and Dauin. Get ready for plenty of sunshine, picturesque beaches, and the perfect dose of culture.
Day 1 to 2: Manila
Day 1 - Arrive in Manila, the capital of the Philippines and an ancient city with a rich history. Settle into your hotel in the city center-- we recommend either Raffles Makati or the Makati Shangri-la. Spend the rest of the day exploring the lively area. You will see the heavy Spanish influence in the quaint architecture.
Day 2 - Spend the day immersed in the oldest district of the city - Intramuros. In the 16th century, the Spanish constructed their citadel, Fort Santiago, and the city walls to guard their stronghold from foreign invaders. When the Spanish were in power, everything outside the walled area was called “outside the walls.” The structures became a National Historic Monument in 1951.
Day 2: Flight to Puerto Princesa
From Manila, we will fly to Puerto Princesa to board the yacht for 4 days Tubbataha diving adventure.
Day 3 to 5: Bohol - Panglao Island
Day 3 - Take a short flight to the much more southern, pristine island of Bohol. You will be met at the airport by a guide and taken to a luxury hotel, where you can spend the day relaxing poolside or seaside. You will see the famous aquamarine water and dig your toes into the soft, white sand. The island is the tenth-largest in the Philippines and considered a naturally beautiful haven.
Day 4 - Enjoy a full-day tour of the island today. Bohol is home to several beautiful sights. Climb up the gorgeous Chocolate Hills that resemble giant molehills. Pay a visit to the tarsier sanctuary, where you can see several of the world’s smallest monkey species relaxing and at play. You will see several quaint Spanish churches and charming villages along the way.
Day 5 - It’s time to relax! Spend the day lounging seaside. Walk along with the island’s several islets. Snorkel the crystal waters, looking at the active marine life weaving in and out of the corals. The water is warm and inviting for a leisurely swim.
Day 6 to 8: Siquijor
Day 6 - Take a short ferry to Siquijor, known to the Spaniards as “isla del fuego” (island of fire) from the soft orange glow produced by the island’s active firefly population. The island has a mystical feel. The Filipinos believe the island possesses certain magical powers. There are several local healers living and working on the island - feel free to check it out for yourself!
Day 7 - Take a complete island tour today. Enjoy the relaxed attitude of your surroundings. This beautiful mountainous island is known for its welcoming vibe. Chat with the local villagers and stock up on artisanal goods. Stroll among the lush greenery. Spend some time on the beaches, world-renowned for diving.
Day 8 - There’s no place quite like Siquijor to relax. Lounge comfortably on the fine sand or by your hotel’s pool. Explore the area’s waterfalls - Cambugahay Falls does not disappoint. There are hundreds of butterflies floating throughout the island - the butterfly sanctuary holds the largest concentrated population. Relax and enjoy a serene day in a tropical atmosphere.
Day 9 to 11: Dauin
Day 9 - Enjoy a boat cruise as you travel from Siquijor to Dumaguete. Dumaguete is the largest and capital city of Negros Oriental. Continue on to Dauin - an island named for the supernatural beings once thought to occupy its magical shores. Check into your hotel and go for a swim in the pool to stretch your legs after a day spent traveling in the sea.
Day 10 - Today you have the rare opportunity to see turtles in their natural habitat. Sea turtles hatch throughout the year, although their birthing period is highest in the summer months. You may be lucky enough to see turtles hatching and making their birth journey to the sea. Enjoy a snorkeling excursion to Apo island and dive into the sea with the massive sea turtles. They love playing among the pristine reefs.
Day 11 - It’s your last day on island time. Make the most of the sunshine and seawater. Snorkel through the colourful reefs in search of exotic marine life in the underwater garden. If you need a break from saltwater, check out the area’s hot springs. The Mt. Talinis Geothermal Reserve is a gorgeous area in the inland of the island.
Day 12: Departure
After 11 full days of adventure, culture, seawater and sunshine, it’s time to say goodbye to the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Begin your journey back to Manila through Dumaguete. Upon reaching Manila, you have the option to either continue on to other adventures in the Philippines or return home.